The 10 Best Duffel Bags of 2021

These go-anywhere duffel bags are practical, stylish, and made for the long haul

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Rains Duffel Bag at End Clothing

"It’s built for DIY organization."

Best Budget: Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag for Travel at Amazon

"More than enough to hold a change of clothes or two and all the devices you need to take with you."

Best Oversized: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 100L at Amazon

"Patagonia’s Black Hole duffel Bag is one that really goes the miles and holds everything you need."

Best Convertible: Caraa Remus 2 at Caraa Sport

"It can also shift shape so you can carry it as comfortably as possible."

Best Wheeled: Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffel at Bloomingdales

"Can easily switch from carrying as a duffel to wheeling it around."

Best Carry-On: Baboon to the Moon Small Go-Bag at Baboon to the Moon

"The small version can hold three to five days’ worth of clothing and is already TSA-approved."

Best Lightweight: Kipling Bori Duffel at Kipling

"It's soft sides help keep the bag shape flexible so packing is a breeze."

Best Rugged: Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler at Amazon

"Made from super-durable Bi-Tech Armor Light that’s every bit as rugged as it sounds."

Best Waterproof: Yeti Waterproof 60L Duffel at Yeti

"The interior has three divider panels for those who cringe at the sight of a completely empty main compartment."

Best Packable: Carhartt Trade Series 2-in-1 Packable Duffel at Amazon

"A packable duffel that goes from folded flat in the bottom of your checked bag to ready to carry on the return flight home."

For weekends away and other short trips, duffel bags are an ideal pick for your luggage. They’re lightweight, so they won’t put a dent in your airline allowance, and they can be as bare bones or as feature-packed as you’d like. Plus, they can easily fold down for storage or travel flat in your checked bag as a backup carry-on in case you do a little shopping on your vacation. And they just look cool, whether you go for a classic take on the duffel or a more modern design.

There are a ton of duffel bags out there to choose from, including classic designs, affordable-but-durable canvas bags, and convertible wheeled option. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best duffel bags for 2021. Read on for our picks.

Best Overall: Rains Duffel Bag

Rains Duffel Bag

Courtesy of Rains

This Danish brand knows what it's doing when it comes to designing stylish bags that hold up in inclement weather, and their duffel bags holds up to the rest of the line. It’s built for DIY organization, with a big main compartment that can accommodate gear or a medley of packing cubes. The line of duffels from the company also includes a size for every trip you might go on: This one is the medium size at a very generous 63 liters, but there’s also a 32-liter and 143-liter version available. 

Best Budget: Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag for Travel

Plambag Unisex's Canvas Duffel Bag Oversized Travel Tote Luggage Bag
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.5

Made of durable cotton canvas, this go-anywhere duffel bag has 50 liters of storage capacity, which is more than enough to hold a change of clothes or two and all the devices you need to take with you on your travels, including tablets and laptops up to 15 inches. There are plenty of spots to keep essentials handy, including a large main compartment and five exterior zipped pockets.

Best Oversized: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 100L

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 100L

Courtesy of Patagonia

This bag makes frequent appearances on best-of lists for good reason: Patagonia’s Black Hole duffel Bag is one that really goes the miles and holds everything you need with 100 liters of storage capacity. The main compartment is a blank slate for organizing, which makes it a great pick for people who have to travel with a lot of gear.

It comes in a ton of cool colorways that are perfect for staying as subtle or being as eye-catching as you’d like to be, and the backpack straps make it a comfortable bag for long, extended travel. Plus, the bag has some eco-friendly cred: It’s made from 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. If 100 liters isn’t quite the right size for you, the duffel is available in a plethora of others, from a slightly smaller 70 liters to a much-smaller 40-liter capacity (it comes in a wheeled 100-liter version, too). 

Best Convertible: Caraa Remus 2

Caraa Remus 2

Courtesy Caraa

Caraa’s minimalist but well-designed bags are also incredibly well made. The Remus 2 takes a cue from classic duffel styling but gives a modern look with matte touches and contrasting zippers. It can also shift shape so you can carry it as comfortably as possible: Pull out the hideaway backpack sleeves to carry it on your back instead of across your body or by the handles. It's got plenty of other features, too: Think a dedicated power bank pocket and phone charging dock, as well as a USB cable holder and included bags for shoes and wets—a lifesaver for trips involving the seaside or pool. The exterior is water-resistant Italian nylon that holds up in a rain shower, and the inside is treated to be waterproof and antimicrobial, so you won’t get that weird duffel funk after a few months in storage.

Best Wheeled: Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffel

Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffel

Courtesy of Briggs & Riley

This Briggs & Riley case is my go-to for those slightly less predictable trips,” says Gordon Smith, editor of Airliner World. “I love the ability to switch from 'waltzing through the lobby' wheels to 'pick it up and run for the train' duffel. While it wasn't cheap, the company offers a fairly comprehensive lifetime guarantee, which soon pays its way for frequent travelers.”

Best Carry-On: Baboon to the Moon Small Go-Bag

Baboon to the Moon Small Go-Bag

Courtesy of Baboon to the Moon

Nothing reflects our excitement to travel again like the bright colorways this duffel bag comes in, and its solid construction and great organization have us feeling 0% stressed about the packing part of things. The small version of the bag at 40 liters will hold three to five days’ worth of clothing and is already TSA-approved, so you don’t have to worry about whether it fits requirements or not. It’s also made with a weatherproof exterior, so your clothes will stay dry no matter the weather at your destination. Plus, it’ll be with you for the long haul: Baboon to the Moon designs its bags to age well, and it has a lifetime warranty in case the worst happens. 

Best Lightweight: Kipling Bori Duffel

Kipling duffel

Courtesy of Kipling

Kipling’s famous duffels get a few extra inches with this model, which is a massive 31 inches in length—and it weighs just 2 pounds, meaning it won’t take up too much from your carry-on weight allowance. The brand’s bags are also incredibly well made: I’ve been using mine for the past 10 years, including for long-term travel, and there’s barely a stitch out of place (and I’ve found a couple of well-placed bungee cords can compress the bag if need be). Plus, its soft sides help keep the bag shape flexible so packing is a breeze—and you have a bit of wiggle room for whatever you find along the way.

Best Rugged: Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

This bag takes it back to well-designed basics—but with the addition of backpack straps to make toting your luggage a little bit easier. Made from super-durable Bi-Tech Armor Light that’s every bit as rugged as it sounds, the Expanse Hauler is there for the long run, with details like air mesh straps to keep your shoulders cool under the load, ventilated panels, self-repairing zippers, and a pocket just for your 3-1-1 liquids right in front.

Best Waterproof: Yeti Waterproof 60L Duffel

Yeti Waterproof 60L Duffel

Courtesy of YETI

People know Yeti for its famous line of coolers and insulated water bottles, but the duffel bags the brand makes are just as durable and well thought out. The interior has three divider panels for those who cringe at the sight of a completely empty main compartment—or for those who prefer it, you can store the panels away to make it a virtual cavern at 60 liters of empty packing room. While the bag is soft-sided like other duffels, it also has a little more support, thanks to foam walls that keep the sides from collapsing in on themselves.

Best Packable: Carhartt Trade Series 2-in-1 Packable Duffel with Utility Pouch

If you like to do a little shopping in your destination, bring a packable duffel that goes from folded flat in the bottom of your checked bag to ready to carry on the return flight home. Carhartt’s is lightweight, super easy to pack down, and durably sewn and stitched so it doesn’t give out on you or your stuff as you’re toting it through the airport. “I use it to travel when I only want to check a bag on my return flight,” says grooming and travel journalist Adam Hurly. “It’s helpful to have the extra storage if you accumulate goods on your trip, but it also folds neatly atop your clothes for the departure flight.”

Final Verdict

I’ve been using Rains products to get around and about Berlin for a few years now, and I have always felt confident about keeping my gym clothes and laptop in my backpack as I cycled around, even on rainy days. Their duffel bag is like the rest of the line: well-made, resistant to bad weather, and super stylish (view at End Clothing).

What to Look for in a Duffel Bag

Size

Duffels come in all sizes, from an overnight carry-on to bags that can hold a week’s worth of gear. Envision your likely load, and think about sizing up a bit to give you some additional space. If you want an easy-to-carry bag to bring souvenirs home from a trip, look for ones that collapse into themselves so you can stash it in your other luggage and pull it out for the trip home.

Organization

If you’re in the market for one big bag to carry everything, models with a big main pocket will suffice, though they typically come with a few additional zippered pockets for smaller items. Other designs distribute their storage into a handful of different sections, which helps you keep things more organized.

Comfort

Every duffel bag comes with a shoulder strap. For optimum comfort, look for one that’s adjustable, padded, and removable. Bags with wheels often include telescoping handles, which allow you to roll through airports and across pavement with ease, then lift the pack to carry it with the shoulder strap when the terrain gets rough.

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